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Suppose you're considering investing in any property. In that case, you'll need to get a building inspection done to help guarantee that you're making a suitable investment and to give you peace of mind about the property you're investing in.

The purpose of a home inspection is to quickly identify any minor or major defects in the building and determine if the investment is worth it. It's not easy to find a property that is without defects. In many cases, there are usually some imperfections associated with most properties.

However, these may be issues that are easy to rectify. In cases with a more significant defect, you need to know if the problem can be repaired easily. In this article, we'll take you through some of the major defects in a home inspection. Keep reading to find out more.

Structural Defects

This is used in describing a deviation from or fault in the structural performance of the elements of the building. These are usually in the form of major or minor defects, ranging from wall dents to cracks or even more severe gas or electrical issues. It's essential to identify both types of defects quickly, which is why we have highlighted some of these defects below to guide you.

What are major defects?

Major defects are inconsistencies or damages to any of the major elements or components of the property. This type of defect can cause the facility to be unusable and lead to the collapse or destruction of the property. In many cases, the defect could be a result of a defective design, material, or even faulty construction.

To understand this better, it's essential to know the significant elements of a building. These elements include waterproofing, fire safety systems, load-bearing floor slab, pads, joints, beams, walls, floors, footings, and foundations. Examples of some major structural defects include damage or cracks to the foundation, walls, floors, and slabs.

What are minor defects?

Apart from major defects, it's important to note that minor defects could also arise. Minor defects are simple and small damages that could alter the functions and appearance of the building without affecting the integrity of the structure. Examples of these defects include thin cracks, wall dents, uneven finishes, general deterioration, and corrosion.

Minor defects don't need to be remedied immediately but must be identified for planning purposes. These minor defects are also identified during the inspection process, and this is to ensure that proper maintenance work is done. The home inspector can also include minor defects in their report.

Common Structural Defects

Knowing how to classify structural defects is essential, as this can help you make a good decision when buying a property. This will make it simpler for you to prevent problems and determine the cost of future repairs. Here's an overview of some of the common structural defects:

Exposed gaps in walls 

A common structural problem is the presence of gaps between walls, which could be internal or external. The big question is what creates these gaps between walls. Gaps between walls are often a result of termite infestation or an indication that the distance between supporting pillars is significant. Another potential cause of gaps is a faulty foundation, which means the entire structure will be adversely affected.

Cracks in walls and ceilings

For many, the presence of cracks in the walls and ceilings may seem to be a minor issue, but you mustn't ignore this issue. It's advisable to get these cracks inspected by a professional to guarantee that they are not severe. A key thing to note is that these cracks could become more serious and further affect the structural integrity of your property in the future.

Uneven floors

The severity of this type of issue varies, and they don't always require immediate action. However, the problem occurs due to improper settling or construction of the foundation. If you notice this issue, you'll need to use the expertise of a professional contractor to fix it. Other possible causes of uneven floors include termites, insufficient sub-floors, or even cracked floor joints.

Warped ceilings

Warped ceilings, damaged cornices, sagging ceilings, and multiple cracks are issues that arise when rainwater enters the ceiling. This can result from a faulty gutter or roof requiring immediate action. A qualified building inspector can identify this problem and provide tips to help you prevent future deterioration.

Crumbling concrete

Many things can cause crumbling concrete, but the most common cause of this structural defect is increased and constant exposure to water or moisture. This also includes exposure to chemicals which has the potential to trigger chemical reactions within the concrete structure.

The resulting reaction causes the growth of crystals which then destroys the bond between the materials. Another common thing is mortar erosion, which occurs in the lower part of the brickwork, and this is usually below the waterproofing membrane. All of these are issues that require immediate attention.


Pest infestation is also a problem that requires immediate attention, and even though termites and timber pests are generally small, they can cause severe damage to homes. These pests are usually widespread in damp floors, moist crawl spaces, and wet foundations, all of which are signs of conditions that result from broken pipes, leaking pipes, and other plumbing issues.

These critters destroy the wood elements within the structure, which can also affect the walls and pillars of the building. Termite infestations or any pest infestations should not be ignored; they should be fixed as soon as they are identified during the pest inspection part of a home inspection.

Electrical issues

Electrical issues usually arise due to improper wiring, and this can lower the supply of power to different parts of the property. Improper wiring can also trigger the absence of overload protection, all of which can affect your electrical appliances. It's essential to consult with a building inspector to help you identify over-fused circuits, burnt cables, and other electrical issues.

HVAC issues

This includes issues in the heating or cooling system of the property. They are issues resulting from problems within the property's heating systems and air conditioning. HVAC components are essential for every building, and it's important to fix any matter identified during the inspection as fast as possible.

Plumbing issues

Plumbing issues are due to the use of inappropriate or old piping materials and malfunctioning in waste lines and fittings. They also occur when there's a clogged drain, a leak in shower pans, and poorly installed fixtures.

Plumbing issues are significant defects that require immediate attention, as they could trigger mould contamination, as well as contamination by other microorganisms. It would be best if you asked a professional to help you inspect the property and identify these issues before they become serious and difficult to fix.

Get a Professional Building Inspection

To effectively determine the level of damage caused by the defects in the property you want to buy or rent, you will need to get the building inspected by a qualified building inspector. This type of building inspection is also known as a pre-purchase building inspection, and it's an effective way of identifying if a property is structurally defective.

The building inspector will thoroughly examine the damage and provide you with a detailed report highlighting all the significant defects on the property. With this, you can quickly determine the value and condition of the property and save a lot of money in the long run.

The importance of buying a property that doesn't have structural or major building defects cannot be overemphasised, which is why you need a professional to help identify whether the property has any of the issues identified above. If you're in the market for a brand new home or are selling your old one, consult a building inspector to get the best value for money.

Before you buy. Before you build. Inspect with confidence with Jim's!

Contact the team at Jim's today for a peace of mind of your inspection!

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